Kevin Walker – Send Me A Card

“Boy is it jaunty.”

Tim: Kevin’s still jumping back and forth being being a singer and professional footballer; here’s his first track since his 2015 Christmas one, and boy is it jaunty.

Tom: Here’s a complaint I’ve never, ever made before here: I despise the rhyme scheme of this song. I don’t know why, but that “all / wall / tall” just grated in the first verse and I could never let it go after that. This is a really petty complaint, I know, because like you say, the rest of this is pleasantly jaunty.

Tim: Okay, Tom: you often mention your Good Pop Song tests – do you immediately want to press play again, can you remember the chorus afterwards – and they’ve kind of buried their way into my head as well now. And with this one, I was ‘yes, but no’.

Tom: The exact opposite for me: I didn’t want to press play again, but I could remember that damn chorus.

Tim: Except, half an hour later, i had a tune going round in my head, and I couldn’t place it, until I realised it was this one. So does that count? Because I do absolutely want to keep pressing play here – the melody is great, decent enough lyrics, and all in all it just makes me feel good. Happy, in fact.

I think that’s because there are a lot of familiar components in there – nothing copied, but things like the layered vocals, the call and return in the middle eight – going together to make a song that’s basically just reassuringly enjoyable.

Tom: I’ll grant you that my heart did soften a bit for that final chorus. He needs to go to a harmony line (or perhaps even just up an octave) on that last note, though.

Kevin Walker – Christmas Nights

“It doesn’t quite hit home as much as I think it could do.”

Tim: Remember Christmas Is Here? A properly saccharine Christmas track that hits every single emotional button there is, and which wouldn’t do anywhere near as well if it had a male vocalist. Well.

Tom: That’s some beautiful scenery there, although the director’s intention seems to be “make sure the audience knows we can afford to hire a drone”.

Tim: And what else have we got: massive soaring emotional notes, YEP. Lyrics that couldn’t be more melty if they lived in a furnace, YEP. An image that Christmas can make things right, YEP. And yet, somehow, it doesn’t quite hit home as much as I think it could do.

Tom: Yep: maybe it’s just that video, but it just leaves me a bit cold. Yes, you can have by-the-numbers songs that can absolutely floor you emotionally — but this isn’t one of them.

Tim: Much as Kevin was a very worthy Idol winner and does have an excellent voice, I can’t help feeling that female vocals may well have me breaking down in tears. OH MY GOOD SHE JUST LOVES HIM SO MUCH AND THE LIFE WILL BE PERFECT AWWWWW – you know, that sort of thing.

Tom: Rather you than me, mate.

Tim: Well, in any case, opportunity missed, I feel.